Dad Who Won't Move Trans Teen's Gender Reveal Party for Baby Shower Praised

The single dad of a trans teen is being praised for standing firm against his sister for refusing to change the date of his son's "gender reveal" party even though it's a few days before her fifth baby shower.

The original poster (OP), u/Dadofaforeverboy, shared his story to the r/AmITheA**hole Reddit forum, earning 5,700 upvotes and 1,100 comments for his post, "AITA for throwing a gender reveal party for my son instead in the same week as my sister's baby shower?"

He says that his son, 19, came out as transgender three years ago, and just completed his transition. He told his father that since coming out, he'd wanted to have a gender reveal party. Now that he's "officially a man," they're throwing the party, inviting the whole family—even though they know some members won't show up, because they don't approve of his transition.

However, the OP's sister is pregnant with her fifth child and is planning to have a baby shower and gender reveal of her own. Though u/Dadofaforeverboy knew that his sister's baby was due at the end of the month, she hadn't named a date when his son's party had been scheduled.

Even though OP and his son sent out invitations two months ago—and OP's sister even said she'd try to make it, she recently called OP, livid. She told OP that since a lot of the family are coming to his son's party, it'll be the first major family event since COVID—and that would make her shower an "afterthought."

OP refused to change the date, saying that the family would show up to both as his son's party was on a Thursday while hers was on the weekend.

"She said I am faking a gender reveal party and I told her that's [ridiculous]. She said it won't even be a proper gender reveal cause he's not a baby, then I just said that she can either come or not, her choice, but I'm not moving the date," u/Dadofaforeverboy wrote.

The OP shared an additional detail with Newsweek; u/Dadofaforeverboy says that his son took his new name, Alexander, in honor of his mother, Alejandra, who passed away at the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

trans teen transgender gender reveal party reddit
A dad is being supported for refusing to change the date of his transgender teen's gender reveal party in order to accommodate his sister's fifth baby shower. iStock/Getty

Though gender reveal parties are a relatively new phenomenon, they are controversial. Academic Carly Giesler, in her paper "Gender-reveal parties: performing community identity in pink and blue" published in the Journal of Gender Studies, cites the late 2000s as the beginning of the trend, with the first YouTube video of such a party posted in 2008.

Some of the criticism comes from several high-profile disasters linked with gender reveal parties. In 2021, a gender reveal party featuring an exploding target caused a wildfire in Alberta, Canada. And that's not the first to set a fire—a 2020 party caused the El Dorado Fire in California, burning thousands of acres of land. A 2017 party burned 47,000 acres in Arizona with a makeshift explosive. And four people had died in gender reveal parties in the first three months of 2021.

However, even when explosives aren't involved, gender reveal parties have been criticized for leaning into sexist stereotypes like "Guns or Glitter" or "Wheels or Heels," Giesler says. It also links gender to sex, which some people say is problematic, as gender is a social construct and, critics say, the baby isn't able to be aware yet if it's a boy or a girl.

Jenna Karvunidis, the woman who posted that first YouTube gender reveal video, has also called out gender reveal parties, sharing that the daughter who was the subject of that first video is now gender non-conforming—but still uses she/her pronouns.

"PLOT TWIST, the world's first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!" Karvunidis wrote in a Facebook post sharing her misgivings about the fad she's credited with launching.

Redditors backed u/Dadofaforeverboy for not changing the date.

"So she's mad that her 5th baby shower isn't going to be the first big family party post covid? A 5th baby shower wouldn't even happen in my family. They already have all the stuff, that's just kinda gift grabbing at that point," u/armchairshrink99 wrote in the top-rated comment with 11,000 upvotes. "[Not the A**hole]. your sister is acting entitled."

"It made me laugh that she said OP's sons wasn't a 'proper' gender reveal. It sounds like she places too much importance on it. There's no such thing as a 'proper' gender reveal party; like everything we do for fun, they're made up, and so you can do with them whatever you want," u/BritishHobo added.

"It is, in fact, a proper gender reveal party. The other kind is a 'sex that will be assigned at birth' reveal party," u/Trini1113 countered.

"[Not the A**hole] your son's gender reveal party is almost more important that hers, since she technically has no idea what gender her child is going to identity as. He's celebrating his true self which is beautiful. I was coming here expecting to see another 'gender reveal' scandal, but this is actually quite nice. Also, it's not like you put it on the same day. Happy gender reveal day to your son when the time comes, your sister needs to chill," u/stitchgalohana wrote.

"[Not the A**hole]. Gender reveal parties are dumb as hell and while I know you're technically having a gender reveal, it sounds more like a good time and a chance to support your son. Gender reveal parties for babies are boring and the majority of the people don't want to be there. After 5 kids your sister needs to quit putting on baby showers. It's tacky as hell and you can tell her I said that," u/JoBenSab wrote.

Update 7/20, 4:10 p.m.: This article has been updated to include comment from u/Dadofaforeverboy.